What is Commerce about?
Subject-specific terms can be found in the glossary.
Commerce is the use and exploration of accounting, economic, and business concepts and models to make sense of society, and solve problems. In this subject, ākonga will build the knowledge, skills, and values they need to navigate, and participate in, the economic world. They will learn how participants in the economic world make decisions, and they will analyse how these decisions impact on wellbeing, equity, and environmental sustainability.
Ākonga will learn that decision making is necessitated by scarcity, and that decisions are informed by a variety of cultural perspectives and lenses. Learning and assessment will examine Māori, Pacific and other business models from whānau, local community, organisation, and government contexts.
Big Ideas and Significant Learning
Big Ideas are derived from the Learning Area essence statement and capture the essence of a subject, ensuring coherence rather than fragmentation of learning. At the subject level, they inform the Significant Learning – learning that is critical for ākonga to know, understand, and do in relation to a subject by the end of each Curriculum Level. This covers knowledge, skills, competencies, and attitudes and also includes level-appropriate contexts ākonga should encounter in senior secondary education.
Significant Learning is collated into a Learning Matrix. Kaiako can use the Learning Matrix as a tool to construct learning programmes that cover all the 'not to be missed' learning in a subject. There is no prescribed order to the Learning Matrix within each level. A programme of learning might begin with a context that is relevant to the local area of the school or an idea that ākonga are particularly interested in. This topic or context has to relate to at least one Big Idea and may also link to other Big Ideas. The Learning Matrix is designed so that kaiako have the freedom to create courses that are both flexible and coherent.
The three Big Ideas of Commerce are derived from the Social Sciences Learning Area. All three Big Ideas relate to some aspect of economic decision making.
Society seeks hauora through kaitiakitanga, tauhokohoko, enterprise, and innovation
This Big Idea focusses on how hauora can be enhanced for whānau and other societal groups. Hauora is the Māori philosophy of health and wellbeing unique to Aotearoa. Hauora is not achieved through inaction, it needs to be cultivated. Processes like kaitiakitanga, tauhokohoko, enterprise, and innovation allow society to sustainably manage resources so that all can thrive.
Decisions about resource management and which groups' interests should be prioritised are unavoidable. Scarcity means that economic decisions must be made about how to use and enhance available resources. When resources are mismanaged and hauora is not prioritised, the wellbeing of people suffers, and these impacts can be felt across generations.
Kaitiakitanga and tauhokohoko are concepts from te ao Māori which emphasise the responsible use of resources, and living harmoniously with the environment. In Commerce, ākonga will have the opportunity to access these economic models and concepts, and others from around Aotearoa and the Pacific.
Whakapapa, wairuatanga, culture, and values shape diverse perspectives which inform financial and non-financial decisions
The diverse values and beliefs of decision makers inform the financial and non-financial decisions they make. What is important to people is determined by their whakapapa, wairuatanga, values, and cultural heritage. The importance that is placed on different resources, values, and ideas varies from group to group, as do the perspectives that groups bring to economic decision making. Ākonga will engage with examples of conflict, compromise, and partnership, and develop insights about what is important and where stakeholder viewpoints should be prioritised.
In Commerce, ākonga will explore the perspectives and decisions of groups from whānau, business, organisation, and national contexts. They will engage with Māori and Pacific perspectives and business models. Ākonga will have an opportunity to explore the economic world through lenses other than their own, at multiple levels, from diverse perspectives. They will gain a better understanding of not just the economic world, but also Aotearoa's multicultural identity, and the spirit of partnership intended by Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
Participation in society through informed financial and non-financial decision making and action can result in the sustainable use of resources, and deliver more equitable outcomes for whānau, communities, and environments
Financial and non-financial decisions inevitably have impacts on people, place, and profit. Sectors within the economy are interdependent, and even if not taking part in a decision, a group can still be affected. This places a responsibility on decision makers to take into account the likely impacts of their decisions on others. Information is a tool people can use to both make informed decisions and influence the decisions of others. Ākonga will learn an economic language of models and concepts which will allow them to navigate the economic world.
This Big Idea complements the other Big Ideas and makes a blueprint for an equitable economic system: where decision makers consider diverse perspectives, and prioritise the wellbeing of their stakeholders. In Commerce, Ākonga will develop their own ability to participate equitably in the economic system, evaluating economic information and decisions against the impacts they have on affected stakeholders and environments.
The Big Ideas can be looked at as a cycle: decisions impact on peoples' wellbeing, peoples' experiences and wellbeing influence their perspectives, peoples' perspectives influence the decisions they make, which leads to further impacts on wellbeing.
Key Competencies in Commerce
Developing Key Competencies through Commerce
Learning in Commerce provides meaningful contexts for developing Key Competencies from the New Zealand Curriculum. These Key Competencies are woven through, and embedded in, the Big Ideas and Significant Learning. Students will engage with critical thinking and analysis, explore different perspectives through Commerce and develop their understanding of the role of Commerce in society.
Students in Commerce will:
- learn to think using sustainable models, and analyse the impacts of economic decisions on stakeholders and the environment
- analyse economic decisions and their potential impacts on communities and environments
- learn that models and concepts are simplifications of the real world, and can be used to support predictions about decisions and outcomes
- understand how to apply models and concepts to material problems and contexts, within the world of work.
Using language, symbols, and texts
Students in Commerce will:
- develop the capacity to interpret commercial information that relates to every day life (for example, financial literacy, and employment law)
- develop the capacity to interpret information which relates to the running of businesses (for example, accounting, and business regulations).
Relating to others
Students in Commerce will:
- explore how the use of different information and models can be used to communicate financial and non-financial decisions
- apply problem solving skills to situations in their local communities
- learn to think about problems from the perspective of other people and groups
- understand that Māori, Pacific, and other perspectives lead to different models and concepts.
Students in Commerce will:
- develop a toolkit which allows them to work through real life problems relating to individual and whānau financial wellbeing
- begin exploring what role they play, or will play, in the economy from both a cultural and professional viewpoint
- make increasingly appropriate selection of models and concepts in appropriate circumstances.
Participating and contributing
Students in Commerce will:
- understand how they as individuals relate to larger groups, such as whānau, organisations, and government
- apply decision making skills to problems outside of the classroom.
This section of New Zealand Curriculum online offers specific guidance to school leaders and teachers on integrating the Key Competencies into the daily activities of the school and its Teaching and Learning Programmes.
Introduction to sample course outlines
Sample Course Outlines are being produced to help teachers and schools understand the new NCEA Learning Matrix and Achievement Standards. The draft Course Outlines that were published at the end of Phase 1, Level 1 product development are now being taken down. Work will continue on these, reflecting the changes noted in the SEG responses, and the additional detail that will be provided in Phase 2 products. They will be re-published for the next cycle of feedback on the Phase 2 products in early August 2021. Exemplars of student work will be provided after the Pilot phase in 2022.
Unpacking The Standards
These statements help to unpack the ways in which the Achievement Standards assess the Significant Learning in the Learning Matrix.
1.1 (Internal) Explore perspectives of financial decision making for a whānau
The purpose of this standard is to build in ākonga the capabilities required to understand how different perspectives and circumstances influence financial decisions within a whānau context.
Ākonga will use an appropriate model to illustrate the financial information used to make a whānau decision, interpret that financial information, and explain the role that perspectives had on making the decision.
'Whānau' could refer to an individual, family, extended family, or any other group of people familiar with one another. The whānau used could be a real whānau drawn from ākonga or kaiako experience, or a hypothetical whānau.
1.2 (Internal) Explore how an economic situation impacts on a local community’s wellbeing
The purpose of this standard is to build in ākonga an understanding of the relationship between existing or developing economic situations and local community wellbeing.
Ākonga will identify an economic situation, gather a range of evidence, analyse the costs and benefits of the economic situation, and evaluate the impact the economic situation has made on local community wellbeing.
1.3 (External) Compare how the decisions of Aotearoa or Pacific businesses are influenced by their pūtake
The purpose of this standard is to develop in ākonga an understanding of how decisions made by Aotearoa or Pacific businesses are influenced by their different pūtake.
Ākonga will describe the concept of pūtake within business (with examples), compare different businesses and their use of pūtake, and apply their understanding of how pūtake influences business decisions.
For the purposes of this standard, pūtake is defined as: 'the reason a business exists. For example: maintaining an ecosystem, providing for future generations, or making a profit.'
1.4 (External) Use models to communicate the impact of an economic decision in Aotearoa or the Pacific
The purpose of this standard is to develop in ākonga the capabilities required to use models to communicate the impact of an economic decision.
Ākonga will explain why the impact of a real economic decision occurred, communicate using relevant models, and demonstrate understanding that economic decisions always have consequences and affect groups differently.